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Front Wheel/Axle Noise

MotoDan

Member
Joined
December 7, 2008
Messages
28
Reaction score
5
City, State
Chesterfield, Missouri
Year, Model & Trim Level
'02 XLT
Hello all,

My 2006 XLT with 230k miles has a rotational noise up front which was first thought to be the very common wheel hub bearing. I ve replaced many of these between my fleet of '02-'06 Explorers and until now, the noise has always been cured by replacing one or both hubs.

The repair history with this vehicle regarding the rotational noise is 1) replaced RH hub - noise persisted, 2) replaced LF hub, same noise, 3) moved old LF hub to RH (in case the last RF hub with 10k miles was bad) - same noise. The new hubs were Timken and Motorcraft. The last repair attempt was to replace both front axle/CV joint assy's with OEM parts. I just rotated the tires which are a fairly aggressive tread (BFGoodrich Rugged Terrain T/A). No change in the noise.

So the noise is exactly what you would expect with a bad hub bearing. It sounds like it's coming from the RF and completely goes away with a very slight Right turning pressure on the steering wheel and becomes pronounced with a Left turning force. The noise can be heard/felt as early as 10 mph, but gets louder with increased speed. At highway speed you can hear a faint wah-wah-wah sound than increases in frequency with speed, but only when going straight or turning to the Left. Any Right movement on the steering wheel will silence any noise.

Because I've replaced so many of these hubs over the years my instinct tells me that it's just another bad hub which I might do. The front Diff axles do not seem loose. I also have not replaced the front diff fluid.

I'm just wondering if anyone has had a similar noise and found it to be something other than the wheel hub bearings? Something in the diff perhaps?

Thanks!
 


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imp

Explorer Addict
Joined
November 12, 2009
Messages
4,678
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Location
West-Central AZ along the Colorado River
Year, Model & Trim Level
59 Ranchero F250 D'Line
Hello all,

My 2006 XLT with 230k miles has a rotational noise up front which was first thought to be the very common wheel hub bearing. I ve replaced many of these between my fleet of '02-'06 Explorers and until now, the noise has always been cured by replacing one or both hubs.

The repair history with this vehicle regarding the rotational noise is 1) replaced RH hub - noise persisted, 2) replaced LF hub, same noise, 3) moved old LF hub to RH (in case the last RF hub with 10k miles was bad) - same noise. The new hubs were Timken and Motorcraft. The last repair attempt was to replace both front axle/CV joint assy's with OEM parts. I just rotated the tires which are a fairly aggressive tread (BFGoodrich Rugged Terrain T/A). No change in the noise.

So the noise is exactly what you would expect with a bad hub bearing. It sounds like it's coming from the RF and completely goes away with a very slight Right turning pressure on the steering wheel and becomes pronounced with a Left turning force. The noise can be heard/felt as early as 10 mph, but gets louder with increased speed. At highway speed you can hear a faint wah-wah-wah sound than increases in frequency with speed, but only when going straight or turning to the Left. Any Right movement on the steering wheel will silence any noise.

Because I've replaced so many of these hubs over the years my instinct tells me that it's just another bad hub which I might do. The front Diff axles do not seem loose. I also have not replaced the front diff fluid.

I'm just wondering if anyone has had a similar noise and found it to be something other than the wheel hub bearings? Something in the diff perhaps?

Thanks!
Turning to the RIGHT relieves some load from the RIGHT FRONT hub bearing due to the vehicle's weight heeling over to the left due to centrifugal force. Just the opposite for LEFT TURN.
 




07EddyB

Well-Known Member
Joined
November 18, 2011
Messages
843
Reaction score
106
City, State
Bowling Green, KY
Year, Model & Trim Level
2007 Ford Explorer 4.6 V8
A bad hub bearing in the rear can sound like it's coming from the front.
 




Blackexplorer06

Active Member
Joined
May 10, 2009
Messages
61
Reaction score
4
City, State
Raleigh, NC CSA
Year, Model & Trim Level
06 EB
I would put the vehicle up on a rack with it in neutral Check for play in the back. Spin the wheels and listen. Give it a complete exam and inspection. As for replacing the front hubs regularly are you greasing them? If you add grease at installation they'll last 2-3 times longer.
 




Itchy33

Member
Joined
November 10, 2019
Messages
10
Reaction score
2
City, State
Richfield, WI
Year, Model & Trim Level
2008 Explorer Limited V6
See my recent post on this topic:
 








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